Friday, January 15, 2010

Asian-Style Spicy Coleslaw

After a couple of weekends of recipe re-organization, I decided that, as a New Year's resolution, I was going to dip into those delicious folders more often to make my little kitchen experiments. So, one recent Saturday night I had my own little Asian food-palooza...with my other half as tasting partner, of course. Dumplings, meatballs, kombu broth...oh, my.

I figured we better have some sort of green vegetable as well. This coleslaw did the trick. It has your typical sweet-sour cole slaw taste, but with the added bonuses of a bit of peanut butter and Sriracha heat. And, while you can't taste the funky fish sauce in the final mixture, don't be afraid of it and skip it. It provides a complex taste backbone you will love.

We enjoyed it with our dumplings, and then I packed a bit with a couple of Asian-spiced grilled shrimp on top for a great weekday lunch. Definitely a recipe worth repeating.

(Note: I've adapted the recipe from the original 10 servings size. And adjusted the proportions just slightly. I also used pre-packaged cole slaw mix. You can certainly shred your own mix of cabbage and carrots to total 8-10 cups.)

Asian-Style Spicy Coleslaw
Makes 6-8 servings.
Adapted from Food & Wine.

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Sriracha chile sauce
1 package cole slaw mix (8 cups, includes green cabbage, purple cabbage, and shredded carrots)
1/2 red bell pepper, julienned finely
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk the peanut butter together with the lime juice, fish sauce, water, sugar, garlic and Sriracha.

In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw, red bell pepper and cilantro with the dressing. Season with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately. (Although leftovers are delicious also.)

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